Jim Wallis: Government Shutdown Is 'Unbiblical'

Jim Wallis
Jim Wallis, president and founder of Sojourners |

The government shutdown is unbiblical, Jim Wallis, president and founder of Sojourners, argued in a video produced by Sojourners, because the politicians who shut down the government are opposed to government altogether and against the poor.

"There is a deeper problem here than politics," he said. "There is a theological problem. As a Christian, I want to say, shutting down government is unbiblical."

Wallis is a long time leader of the so-called "Evangelical Left," and a signer of the Circle of Protection, which urges political leaders to prioritize the needs of the poor in the federal budget.

In defense of his argument, Wallis mentioned Romans 13, in which the Apostle Paul beseeches the Christians in Rome to submit to governing authorities because those authorities are "God's servant for your good" (NIV), and the Old Testament prophets, who said that rulers are judged by how they treat the poor and vulnerable.

The "political extremists ... who want to shutdown the government" are unbiblical, Wallis claimed, for two reasons: First, they are, essentially, anarchists, opposed to government altogether. And second, they are against poor people, because anyone who is hostile to government is hostile to the poor.

"I know lots of Republicans and Democrats who believe in government. However big or small or limited doesn't matter, they believe in government and they believe in governing. Their role is governing. These people don't. They don't believe in government per se. They want to destroy the House [of Representatives] and shut it down. That's not biblical.

"Secondly, because government has a biblical responsibility to care for the poor, they're against poor people. They get hostile to the poor because they are hostile to government. That's also wrong. It's unbiblical."

Wallis encouraged politicians who "want to shut down the government" to read their Bibles. In particular, he mentioned Romans 13, and what "Isaiah, Jeremiah, and all the prophets say about the role of government."

You can watch Wallis' full statement below.

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